Face coverings will now have to be worn in more places in England, the Government has announced.
The requirement to wear a mask or other kind of covering has been extended to indoor public settings, including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship, from August 8.
Speaking at a coronavirus press conference at lunchtime, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
‘We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.’
The PM added: ‘I have asked the Home Secretary to work with the police and others to ensure the rules which are already in place are properly enforced.’
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He said this would mean ‘a greater police presence to ensure face coverings are being worn where this is required’.
It comes as Mr Johnson revealed at an unexpected conference today that the easing of some lockdown measures will be delayed due to a spike in cases.
Plans to open casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks tomorrow have been shelved for two weeks, and small wedding receptions will still not be allowed.
Mr Johnson said ‘squeezing the brakes’ on reopening could help prevent a repeat of the nationwide lockdown.
Further restrictions were announced last night for parts of the North West due to a surge of infections.
The PM said the disease contagion is rising across the UK, with one in 1,500 people having the virus compared to one in 1,800 on July 15 and one in 2,000 on July 2.
‘At this stage, we are not changing the rules on social contact nationally. I don’t want to tell people to spend less time with their friends. But unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further,’ he added.
‘Two weeks ago, I said we would hope for the best but plan for the worst.
‘And of course we continue to hope for the best. The way to get there and to achieve that optimum outcome is if we all follow the rules, wash our hands, cover our faces, keep our distance – and get a test if we have symptoms, so that NHS Test and Trace can keep the virus under control.
‘This is how we will avoid a return to full national lockdown. We’ve made huge progress together.
‘I know we are going succeed and I know we are going to beat this – if each and every one of us plays our part.’
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